A practical session to ensure you understand and are ready for the new Code and the Ombudsman’s expectations. The code was published on 8 February 2024 and will come into immediate effect.

  • Read more

    A new ‘Complaint Handling Code’ has been published by the Housing Ombudsman and Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman. The new Code places higher and broader expectations on all social landlords in England.

    This is the first joint Code from the two Ombudsman services and will mark a significant change for local authorities – marking the end the ‘two-tier system’ of housing management and corporate complaints. It will apply across all local authority services, except where there is already a separate statutory procedure such as for social services’ complaints.

    While many of the Code’s key principles remain unchanged, there are significant changes. Both housing associations and local authorities will need to gear up quickly to meet the Code’s mandatory requirements.

    What will be covered?

    This session examines the main requirements of the new Code, including:

    • Access to and exclusions from complaint procedures
    • Complaints staff and the complaint handling process
    • Complaint stages and timescales
    • Putting things right
    • Scrutiny, oversight and learning from complaints
    • Self-assessment against the Code
    • Implementation of the new Code and how the Ombudsman services will monitor compliance.

    Who should attend?

    Everyone needs to be aware of how to respond effectively to complaints, including:

    • Board members/councillors with a housing responsibility
    • Senior executives and service managers
    • Complaint handling staff
    • Customer services staff

    What will delegates take away?

    Delegates will gain a comprehensive understanding of the new Code and its requirements.

    They will be able to make sure their organisation is ready for the new framework and the Ombudsman’s expectations.

  • Our speakers

    John Goodwin, Consultant, HQN

    John Goodwin is a housing trainer and consultant, with extensive experience in the social housing sector, particularly in complaint-handling, resident involvement and governance.

    John was Compliance and Systemic Lead at the Housing Ombudsman Service until 2022, responsible for addressing systemic failings by landlords. He was involved in drafting the Ombudsman’s first ‘Complaint Handling Code’ and for delivering training to landlords, residents and others to improve complaint-handling and learning from complaints across the sector.

    Prior to joining the Ombudsman, John spent ten years with the Audit Commission’s Housing Inspectorate – inspecting a range of housing organisations and services. John previously worked for Shelter in several roles, including Head of Legal Services and Editor of ROOF magazine. He began his housing career in homelessness, housing advice and resettlement with a London borough.

    John has written and edited a number of publications including: ‘Built to Last’ (a history of British housing policy). John is also an accredited mediator and a trustee and past chair of a social care charity.

    Dave Simmons, Consultant, HQN

    Dave Simmons currently works as a dispute resolution improvement manager for a large housing association.

    He is an experienced trainer in complaints handling in the housing sector covering a wide range of subject areas. He was formerly Sector Development Lead at the Housing Ombudsman Service where he was responsible for the writing and delivery of training workshops, webinars and forms to different audiences including residents, landlords and Boards. Dave also led on the project to produce the Ombudsman’s first ‘Complaint Handling Code’ which sets out best practice complaint handling for the sector.

    Outside of his full time roles, Dave’s training experience extends to his work as as associate for Tpas (tenant engagement experts). He is also an experienced accredited mediator and has mediated on a wide range of disputes including family, community and workplace. As well as his private mediation work, he volunteers for a community mediation charity in Croydon where he is a Board Trustee.


  • Price and booking


    Ticket Type Price Spaces
    Member ticket £75.00
    Non-member ticket £125.00

    Registration Information

    Payment and Confirmation

    If you experience any issues when submitting your booking, please email [email protected] with the name and date of the session along with the delegate name(s), email address(es) and job title(s) and we’ll process the booking for you.

  • Cancellations and substitutions

    If you are unable to attend an event or public training course, please let us know in writing (email is fine) at least 48 hours before. Please email [email protected]

    Otherwise, a cancellation fee of £60 plus VAT will be chargeable.

    If you are using a package place to attend and do not inform us within the agreed time frame, then a place will be taken to cover your non-attendance.

    Cancellations must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged by HQN Limited


12 March 2024
3:00pm - 4:30pm
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